Gender gap in mathematics achievement: Vietnamese students in American Mathematics Competitions
Anh Vinh Le, Thi Dien Bui, My Ngoc Tran, Thi Thu Trang Phung
Vietnam National Institute of Educational Sciences, Vietnam
Van Luan Vu
Green Education Technology Joint Stock Company, Vietnam
Addressing gender equality in education has always been one of the crucial Sustainable Development Goals advocated by the United Nations. To achieve this goal, many countries are tackling gender inequality in mathematics and STEM subjects where the achievement gaps historically favoured male students. Vietnam has one of the highest maths performance gaps worldwide, demonstrated by international maths competitions (e.g., PISA) with males often outperforming females. Research on gender gap in maths in Vietnam is, however, still in its infancy, which challenges policy makers and relevant authorities to create positive changes to the current education system. This study analysed test scores of 23,932 Vietnamese students participating in the American Mathematics Competitions 8 (AMC8) from 2016 to 2020 to investigate the issue of gender (in)equality in secondary maths education in Vietnam. Evidence of gender gap was found, especially among the top 500 highest achievers. The research demonstrated that boys showed a higher rate of participation and achieved higher average scores compared to their female peers. Among top achievers, gender gap was in favour of boys, especially in the strand of algebraic content. This study is amongst the first to conduct statistical analyses of maths scores data by gender in Vietnam. It aims to provide guidelines for future research and contribute to policymaking in an attempt to address gender equality in Vietnam's education.
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|Authors: Professor Anh Vinh Le PhD is the General Director of the Vietnam National Institute of Educational Sciences and the Director of the National Center for Sustainable Development of General Education Quality. He obtained his PhD degree in mathematics at Harvard University, and is currently leading and supervising a number of international and national education projects. His research focuses on the areas of education policy, STEM education and educational technology. Professor Vinh has published more than 60 papers in maths and education on both international and national journals.|
Thi Dien Bui MA is a senior researcher at the Vietnam National Institute of Educational Sciences. Her work focuses on the topics of education policy, curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment, especially regarding the fields of STEM education and transferrable skills in general education. She has led a number of international and national projects, and has published more than 20 papers and book chapters in regards to education curriculum, pedagogy and assessment towards developing students' competency.
My Ngoc Tran MSc is an educational researcher at the Vietnam National Institute of Educational Sciences. She obtained her MSc degree in language education at the University of Oxford. Her research focuses on the fields of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment, educational technology and general education quality.
Thi Thu Trang Phung MA is a senior researcher at the Vietnam National Institute of Educational Sciences. She obtained her MA degree from the University of Natural Sciences, Vietnam National University, Vietnam. She has been a mathematics teacher at Experimental School, Hanoi for more than 10 years. Her research focuses on maths teaching methodology and maths curriculum development.
Van Luan Vu obtained his bachelor degree in mathematics education at Foreign Trade University, Vietnam. He has been teaching mathematics of various levels for more than 10 years, and is currently the Head of Mathematical Development Department, GedTech JSC. His research focuses on the topics of mathematics and mathematics education.
Please cite as: Le, A. V., Bui, T. D., Tran, M. N., Trang Phung, T. T. & Vu, V. L. (2023). Gender gap in mathematics achievement: Vietnamese students in American Mathematics Competitions. Issues in Educational Research, 33(1), 137-154. http://www.iier.org.au/iier33/le.pdf